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Making Life Sweeter: CultureMap Tastemaker Awards

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Tastemaker: n. (tāst′mā′kər)

One who sets the standards of what is currently popular or fashionable.

It’s always inspiring to be in the company of trendsetters. When those innovators are of the culinary breed, the experience becomes even more fulfilling—and flavorful. Such was the case at CultureMap’s recent 2014 Tastemaker Awards, where the top toques in food and drink from Dallas to Austin to Houston were all honored at dynamic, and downright delicious, parties in their respective cities.

Fluffpop had the honor of spinning our gourmet cotton candy for hundreds of guests in Dallas and Austin, and we also took the opportunity to introduce the foodie set to our new Hotpoppin line of gourmet popcorn.

With the fun starting in Dallas, we headed to Seven for Parties in the hip Design District, where the eclectic venue transformed into the temporary home for a Herredura tequila tasting lounge, as well as the night’s participating restaurants including award nominees Barter, Bite City Grill, Chino Chinatown, Dive Coastal Cuisine, Kate Weiser Chocolates, Sundown at Granada, The Grape, The Rustic, Meso Maya and Savor. DJ Sober and DJ Tony Schwa kept the beat alive, as our own Fluffpop DJs spun mini clouds of strawberry, pineapple and lychee cotton candy for the crowd while Hotpoppin popcorn was passed around—think Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut, English Toffee and Chocolate Covered Salted Caramel. We mingled with a crush of chefs and restaurant insiders, but one of our sweetest moments of the evening was introducing chef Kent Rathbun (who was also one of the Tastemaker judges) to Fluffpop and Hotpoppin. His fave flavor? Fried Pickle.

The Dallas event had barely wrapped before we were making our way to party with our Austin friends—fully armed with plenty of Hotpoppin and Fluffpop treats. At the cool Brazos Hall, a host of Tastemaker Award nominees set up shop, including Chef Josh Watkins of The Carillon, Chef Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo and Chef Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo, along with Barlata, Chavez, No Va, Salt & Time, Searsucker, The Bonneville and Winflo Osteria.

The sweet finish to both evenings? Pinot’s Palette provided a creative twist on the announcement of the Tastemaker Award winners, painting artsy, custom portraits of each of the epicurean stars.

Make your life sweeter.

~Yasmeen

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